While I was reading the recent FDA news release about the approval of a new blood-thinning drug Effient, I couldn’t believe my eyes. When will this stop? Who do they work for? Effient, Eli Lilly’s new blood thinner is so dangerous that the FDA approved it only for people getting angioplasty. Why? Because in the study, the approval was based on, patients taking Effient vs. Plavix (top selling blood thinner) faced “a grater risk of significant, sometimes fatal bleeding”. Not only that, but patients who already had strokes were more likely to have another stroke. And while Effient slightly reduced the risk of non-fatal heart attacks, the numbers of deaths and strokes were similar with both groups. So, Effient doesn’t work better, but increases the risk of repeated stroke and fatal bleeding. Why did FDA approved it? We all know why!
The drug labeling will include a boxed warning that the drug can cause significant, sometimes fatal bleeding. They are “washing” their hands. What about us? If you want to live and are scheduled for angioplasty better be sure the doctor doesn’t use Effient!